Monkeypox Infection in Prairie Dogs

The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention has documented the transmission of the monkeypox infection virus from infected Gambian rats to prairie dogs, causing, among other things, skin sores and fever. However, there are also other animals which may transmit monkeypox to prairie dogs via direct contact.

Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for monkeypox infection. Moreover, because the virus can be transmitted to humans and other animals, a veterinarian will often recommend euthanizing the infected prairie dog.


  • Fever
  • Skin sores
  • Nasal discharge
  • Discharge from the eyes
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Difficulty breathing


A type of pox virus, the monkeypox is primarily transmitted to prairie dogs by direct contact with infected animals or by eating meat from an infected carcass.


Your veterinarian may make a diagnosis by observing the prairie dog's external symptoms. However, blood tests may be necessary for confirmation of the infection.

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